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Published: July 16th 2008
Today, typical of my character, I am frustrated. Part of it is culture shock, part is my company, part is my indefinite plans, and then just a little bit of everything else thrown in. So, some things that I had found interesting and may miss later, but for now they are just irritating:
- Toilet paper- because the toilets don´t flush well it is typical to have toilet paper outside of the bathrooms rather than inside the stall and then you throw it in a trash bin. However, when I first got here I kept forgetting this and was just lucky I had those little sanitary wipes mommy gave me. At the school they just NEVER put toilet paper in the bathrooms. Either that or people go and steal it all, which I may end up doing as well.
- Traffic- since there are really no rules with driving here, the traffic sometimes builds up and it is scary. In general, there is less traffic because it moves quicker, but in the case of taxi drivers I almost would rather pay the extra few dollars to sit in traffic. They just drive up on the curb to get past the cars, or in the oncoming lane. Whateva. Also, at night, the traffic lights are more or less just a suggestion.
- Money- I was the smartest out of my group and brought mostly cash and mostly in small bills. However, right now I am poor because nobody will accept my 10s or 20s. Ridiculous. I walk around with all this money and can´t even afford the $0.25 metrovía.
- Classmates- Oh life. Rather, how I percieve life and am so cynical. They don´t make the terrible classes any better though. Students outside of the US are much better and more hardworking. Don´t think my first test went so well either, but I learned some new words today like aún and ojalá.
- A tiempo- DOES NOT EXIST in Latin countries. People show up 1, 2, 4 hours late and think nothing of it, like the fact the you showed up on time and have been waiting. Obnoxious. Teachers, friends, doctors, everyone.
- Pollution- the air in the city is sooo dirty that my skin is constantly gross, my nails look like I haven´t bathed, and everything smells. Also, people don´t seem to love their city because when they are done with something they just throw it on the ground. It´s sad.
- Secondhand smoke- I love the USA for making laws about smoking inside. I might as well just start eating a pack a day because I am breathing in so much smoke here. Also, children sell cigarettes here, it´s about $2 for a pack. How do you like that smokers? You can get a beer and a pack for less than $3. I try to wash my clothes in the shower because they smell terrible and I don´t get laundry back for about 4 days.
Water- I take cold showers and it was cool at first but now I am frustrated. I want to drink water because it is healthy but that´s asking a lot.
Thanks CSI who preparing me for the culture shock. I should have listened. At least I am aware of it!
On the other hand, I was told by Eduardo and David (2 friends of Fito, who is Veronica´s boyfriend here) that my Spanish is very very good. That made me feel good. I can get my point across to people who have no idea of English, even when I need to use some Spanglish.
My pictures that I printed came out really nice. I was planning on using them for postcards but now I am thinking I will just face reality and say I am probably just going to hand people the postcards when I get home. Sorrry. It makes me happy that I have lots of e-mails from people (mommy, daddy and sister) and I need to write back to everyone. There is sooo much to explain for each day.
We are going to Baños this weekend, the one in Ambato. We have 2 or 3 Ecuadorians coming with us so we won´t be totally clueless, but it´s dudes and I will be all lonely because I am the only one without someone besides Liz who has no problem finding new people. Maybe that will be best though, so long as Baños is actually small. I just want to go horseback riding and see the volcanoes and waterfalls. We are leaving our morning class early (around 10) and skipping the second one (with permission), taking the bus 7 hours up the mountain, and hopefully arriving by 7. We stay at 2 different hotels (I don´t want to put which ones online until we have gotten back, for safety, y´know). Mom, they are safe, I won´t get killed. We have all of Saturday and then are leaving on Sunday by 2 so we can get back to Guayaquil before dark. I am really nervous about taking a bus all the way.
So I just typed a short novel and I am stopping now. Comment for me!!
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